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Except for a difficult performance by Kareena Kapoor and the lost character she plays, Heroine is one dramatic scene after another without anything substantial.Read more
The opening line of the trailer says that all heroines in the film industry – Hollywood or Bollywood – are moody, crazy and over-emotional.
So, if you are expecting anything non-stereotypical out of Heroine, your expectations are set to order even before you begin to think of the film. Anyway, we don't expect Madhur Bhandarkar to go deeper than what we already know of the worlds he is delving into.
But, what I have liked about Madhur Bhandarkar's Traffic Signal, Fashion and even Jail, is that the story is engaging. The ups and downs of the protagonists, however predictable, are depicted while holding my interest.
Somehow though, Heroine doesn't look like it is going to go beyond Fashion. How much more different are the stories really going to be? And despite being pretty much sure that, like many others I am looking forward to a meaty performance by Kareena Kapoor. If there is one area in which we cannot complain about when it comes to a Madhur Bhandarkar film, it is the scope it provides for its lead character.
Unfortunately, this time around the music is disappointing. The first time I read a tweet from Salim Merchant (Salim-Sulaiman duo) announcing the song 'Halkat jawani', it was annoying, because I for one, have had enough of these item numberesque songs with slang that is used just for the ring the words have to them.
Anyway, I don't mind if Heroine is a decent, enjoyable story though I wouldn't expect an indepth peek into 'the' industry.
Milliblog - "typical, lethargic and tedious Bhandarkar’ishness."
Music Aloud – "6/10"
dunkdaft – "disappoints by a soundtrack that has nothing notable to offer."
Bollywood Hungama – "3/5"
Bollyspice – "3/5"
Apun Ka Choice – "3.5/5"
Happy Sing - "even though not really make me believe in Salim-Sulaiman, is fairly okay."
- meeta, a part of the audience
Welcome to the world of 'babes', one-upmanship, over-reaction. Welcome to the cut-throat world of the Hindi film industry, Bollywood. Or so you are made to believe. Heroine doesn't sink in any deeper than these two lines. However, like a Madhur Bhandarkar film, it does spend quite some time with its lead character, Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor). Mahi's character builds interestingly but unfortunately her story has nothing out of the ordinary to hold the film together. It's almost as if the character wasn't written but just happened to happen.
It's great that Heroine picks not a typical top star as his lead character, nor is she a struggling actress who's rise we see from the very beginning. Her journey is told to us from somewhere in the middle. At a point in which she's most distraught and finds her way to a police station for a reason that is not told to us immediately and when you do find out, you can't believe the pettiness of the issue. I doubt the character or the writer/director knew why she was there.
But meanwhile, Kareena Kapoor gets to insecure, distraught, failure, glamorous of course and bipolar! Though she seemed more depressed than bipolar, but hey that's nitty-gritty, right? But, the point here is that whatever Kareena is asked to do, she works really hard in getting it right. She looks gorgeous even when she is dispirited. And I mean this in a good way. She takes every opportunity she can get and the labor shows. It is not an effortless performance.
The character offers her enough layers too - a woman who wants to do well in her career and is a decent human being too. But as it turns out, even if she is willing to put in her best, try everything within her control and resist from sinking low, it's not enough. And after all, she is a woman and thus is needy. There are other times, where Mahi behaves aggressively, over-reacts and takes actions the repercussions of which she hasn't taken into account.
Interestingly, the only really good looking actress in the entire clutter of 'top' heroines in Heroine is Mahi. The rest, aren't half as magnificent. Yet, she struggles as a 'star', if not a beginner. For a change, you also have the male leads in sensitive roles, who have their own shades of gray, however unbaked they are. None of the other side characters add any meaning to the film except for maybe Shahana Goswami's Promita.
With such textures, you'd hope the story would hold your interest. It meanders, it stretches, it disengages you from the characters. And towards the end it just gets overbearing. And at times, you feel like some sequences, especially ones revolving around sexuality, have been added just to titillate without much relevance to the story. The run-of-the-mill songs slow the film down too. The two and a half hours run-time doesn't help its case either.
There is this underlying equation that Madhur Bhandarkar seems to point at, which is annoying as his audience, because it comments about the audience. While belittling the hard-work that people put in their work, Heroine implies that the entire film industry lives in a cut-throat environment where manipulation is the key to success. They do it to so their films do well with the masses. And the masses supposedly decide the fate of a film depending on the controversy surrounding it. Full stop. There is no if or but there, the question about the film's quality or content is a distant one. The audience's love for their cinema is based solely on the associated scandals. And what is poor media to do but to report on these with dramatic effect if that's what the audience wants. !?!? Really? Is that what we are? Naïve and basically stupid.
What it all boils down to then is the same question we could ask about most Bhandarkar products – Is Madhur Bhandarkar's Heroine about "Bollywood - behind the scenes" or is it telling us the story of its heroine, her ups, downs and in-betweens? If its the former, you'd get more out of reading your city's daily edition let alone film magazines. And if it's the latter, atypically so, Bhandarkar doesn't engage despite having his heroine perform to the best of her capabilities.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...the viewer would experience explicit contentment to witness the truth behind the made-up faces of the film world, the shadowy secrets that lie behind the enchanting veneer.... full review
Thumbs up, by Gaurav Malani, Times of India : ...Before you can absorb or brood over one aspect, another is put forth. The climax, particularly, is well-etched leading to a trademark Madhur Bhandarkar culmination.... full review
So-So, by Naresh Kumar Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...Performances by the supporting cast, including Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda and Divya Dutta, are passable, but a sequence of Kareena with Shahana Goswami and another with Helen deserves a special mention. ... full review
So-So, by Shabana Ansari, DNA : ...The character seems tailor-made for an actress of Kareena’s calibre. And she takes the viewers into the mind of Mahi as she battles personal demons while maintaining a cool facade.... full review
So-So, by Fatema H Kagalwala, India Entertainment : ...It is a high-pitched dramatic film that rides itself upon the eye-ball grabbing antics of its protagonist and Kareena Kapoor lives out her role with admirable flair. ... full review
So-So, Movie Talkies : ...Bhandarkar's Heroine is sure to give you a jolt of deja vu and remind you of Fashion that had impressed everyone a few years back. However, the director fails to realize that the same formula may not necessarily work again... full review
So-So, by Aakash Barvalia, MoviezADDA : ...the basic storyline of the film had a very strong and powerful drama to engage the viewers, but the screenplay of it had only engaged selected kind of people, who are either into the industry or somewhat familiar with the real inside story of Bollywood. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Anna Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...Heroine is actually fun in places where the focus is completely on politics in the film industry. The little trick Mahi pulls on a rival heroine (Mughda Godse) is worth a chuckle.... full review
Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...Acknowledging the positive dimensions of fame would leave Bhandarkar with nothing to expend his moral outrage on. (And I have to wonder if that well isn’t running dry. After all these films, all these fulminations against the seedier side-streets of our society, how much more moral outrage can one man still possibly have?) ... full review
Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...In fact that is the biggest failure of this project since it only stresses upon the negative side of a coin and tries to sell itself like an evil film to the audience... full review
Thumbs down, by Suparna Thombare, Bollywood Life : ...On the face of it, Heroine had great scope to be developed into an interesting story. But director Madhur Bhandarkar gets confused – he wants to reveal the big bad world of Bollywood to the outsiders and tell a human story at the same time.... full review
Thumbs down, by Charu A Mahesh, Buzz in Town : ...Problem with Bhandarkar’s script is that it has no structure and the director he has tried to rope in every possible stereotype to show the bad world of Bollywood... full review
Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...He picks a subject, puts a woman at the centre and then proceeds to degrade her completely. In the process, he also passes off broad generalisations as research, stereotypes as characters, silly lines as satire or profound truth, and some standard shock-value scenes. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Ankur Pathak, Desi Martini : ...One of the few characters that feel genuinely real apart from a fabulous cameo by Helen is Divya Dutta's Pallavi - Kareena's PR who is delightfully dispassionate in her job and consistently remains so without showing any sympathy. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Ameetbhuvan, Desi Martini : ...It is a pity indeed that more than her herculean effort, it is the supporting performances of Shahana Goswami and Divya Dutta that leave a much stronger impression.... full review
Thumbs down, by Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions : ...THIS IS NOT A FILM REVIEW It is a heartfelt lament by a depressed film lover who visits the cinema week after week in the hope that someone will regale her with stories of heroines she can look up to... full review
Thumbs down, by Rubina A Khan, FirstPost : ...Kareena Kapoor looks stunning in every Manish Malhotra outfit as Mahi Arora and performs her part extremely well – as well as the askew screenplay and her mercurial character graph would let her.... full review
Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, Hindustan Times : ...Kareena Kapoor works very hard to give Mahi depth. She looks sensational, but is also brave enough to risk being ugly on screen, literally and figuratively. Sadly, Bhandarkar has saddled her with a character without an arc. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Janhavi Samant, MiD DAY : ...Heroine takes the vivacious, sparkly, irreverent Kareena Kapoor and smothers her into a dull lackluster protagonist. She tries her best though and manages to shine in some scenes.... full review
Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...After one shot, this wedded-to-the-cause-of-true-art dada tells Mahi that she is “talking like a machine”. Feel the character, he insists. The film that Bhandarkar has made is indeed disappointingly mechanical. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Shilpa Jamkhandikar, Reuters : ... Bhandarkar doesn’t really want to tell us a story, he just wants to string together incidents that allow him to comment on the film industry, take potshots at a couple of people and insert dialogue like “he has the hot for you babe” (yes, not hots, but hot).... full review
Thumbs down, by Ruchi Mehta, Roochster : ...Arjun Rampal and Randeep Hooda have done a good job even though they had small roles. Mugdha Godse said, “Shits!” which sums up her acting skills and how she talks in real life.... full review
Thumbs down, Sify Movies : ...Other than the central cast, almost everyone's acting is unforgivably bad. Even the central cast, for some bizarre reason, speaks their dialogue as if they've learnt the words by rote and are at a poetry recital. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Bhawana Somaiyya, Star Blockbuster : ...Galloping through an incoherent script that fails to define stages and phases in the actor’s career, Kareena plays Mahi Arora on an even keel without any dramatic fluctuations. We don’t know how old she is and for all that she goes through, she is well preserved without any signs of ravage or degradation.... full review
Thumbs down, by Reel Reptile, Upper Stall : ...Rampal sleepwalking through a role based on a 'famous superstar', and he tries his best to exercise his facial muscles while driving a static car, on set, with Kareena and her red nose screaming into his ear. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Rumanna Ahmed, yahoo! India : ...I guess Kareena had hoped that this would be a National Award winning performance and to give credit where it's due, Bebo's neurotic portrayal of Mahi Arora is not all bad. But if this one was an acid test for her abilities as an actor, she is yet to prove her craft.... full review
WhatzInAHandle: Not bad that a movie was taken on such known facts.But wonder how the cinema-wallahs reaction 4 this would be.Secret is officly OUT #Heroine
tejash316: Watched #Heroine movie. #MadhurBhandarkar hits a nail right on the head about #Bollywood. Great performance by #KareenaKapoor. Good music.
rahulkumar205: heroine is such a great movie by madhur bhandarkar
priyujadeja: Watched Heroin Last Night... Just Superb One... Kareena Acted So Well.
payalraghani: Heroine nice movie .. Loved kareena n randeep <3
i_am_mak: kareena kapoor was awesome in #heroine superb film
DeathRattle7: #heroine Movie was GOOD...Kareena as always fabulous and nice acting.. Randeep was also good... @KareenaK_FC
Babiejaan: Saw Heroine yest..Awesommee..cud relate to sm scenes coz even I'm from the industry..Kareena was Brilliant..she surely deserves an award..
AjayDev_: Excellent movie heroin..! Thumb's up for gorgeous kareena with her excellent acting n beauty..!
SahilAnand37: #Heroine: Not something what I expected it to be. Though I don't know what people mean by it, I would say it anyway: one time watch! :D
KocharAnand: Watch #heroine only for #kareena
ketkiangre: #heroine: snap review- Kareena promising, movie drags, wait for it to play on tv unless you hv extra dough to spend
aman_punia: Heroine was a good movie but the ending kinda sucked #spoiler
yearning4d_sky: Boring,disjointed,confused story telling .sHe has dun gud n matured acting.not. Worth it.
wanted_a_life: such a waste is @Heroine The Movie...................stunning degradation in madhur's class :(
VeerS91: The title 'Heroine' is ironic. Because that's what Bhandarkar was snorting while making the movie
UdaasPriest: Lalbaug Ganpati Mandal received 2 cr in donations during weekend. That's 1,99,99,800 more than what Heroine movie grossed over the weekend.
ThatPungiDude: Finally watched heroine yesterday and all I could see were cigarettes n alcohol..
Sushil156: Even Gals in the office hated #Heroine ! Their Comments: No story, Fashion movie copy, same characters. #Trash
Sumitcaring: Aishwarya Rai wud be happy 4 leaving HEROINE coz only the best scene in the film is INTERVAL :D
ShivaniBasnet: Loved kareena's performance in heroine ...movie was not as good as expected though.
shamal_46: Heroine.. Glamour doesn't make a movie..
RoomanaKhan: #Heroine Bekar Film watched only cause of Kareena she superb so I m not asking 4 my $1.
rahul871: #Heroine utter disappointment!!
PyaliSays: :: Madhur Bhandarkar becomes the first man to make a same movie with 3 different names - Page 3, Fashion & Heroine. Chutiyapa !!!
oldmonkchants: "Heroine" has a happy ending.You feel extremely happy that movie is finally over.
Neetish: The Dirty Picture - Entertainment = Heroine
Muizansari: "HEROINE" ouchh pakaau he boss!!:-@
Mrs___T: #heroine epic failure!!! What a waste of money!!
MinorityReview: Heroine Movie Review - Should have been called Psycho. Too superficial and poorly made - Minority Review http://www.minority-review.com/heroine-should-have-been-called-psycho-too-superficial-and-poorly-made
Mehreeny: Heroine was sucha dragggggg! Please don't watch it.
MarooshaD: Heroine #worstmovie
IrusRaj: Madhur Bhandarkar: A man who perfected the art of using a big canvas to show nothing #Heroine is a damp squib Babes
Infamous_Duke: Kareena kapoor is worth the watch but not as #heroine
iMeditatinNinja: #barfi must watch #Heroine don't watch
iam_ishita: Sacrificed my sleep to catch #Heroine first day first show! Well, it wasn't worth the effort. Horrible movie. :|
honeyizzsweet: Had seen #heroine.. didnt like the movie but Bebo undoubtedly superb.. she is the reason ppl can bear the movie story.
FizzaJasmine: havent seen an indian movie in yrs. #heroine #fail only thing that helped was the GORGEOUS faces onscreen #ArjunRampal can u BE any hotter?
Eventwalla: #Heroine A mashup of all madhur bhandarkar movies #TrueStory :P
Diksha_Sahni: #Heroine seems a rejig of page 3 &fashion. stereotypes (gay designers, junk jewelry wearing journalists) exaggerated bore one to the core.
DeccanGypsy: The LMAO Truth --> RT @diogeneb Aradhya to Ash: "Mom, you escaped doing Heroine thanks to me. You're welcome"
debashis4u: Worst ever film - Heroine, wasted 3 hours :(
Curious_Saint: Got a really bad headache yesterday. Thanks to the movie Heroine. What a juvenile movie!
Cryptoterra: Heroin or zombie apocalypse. Choose your own adventure.
cpsingh9955: Please don't watch Heroine. Full paisa waste
cniloy: Couldn't have said it better than this. Heroine review | http://in.movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-reviews/heroine-review-172402016.html via @Kunal_Guha
chirpncherp: So true... I was... RT @mindlessmoron #Heroine has a happy ending. You feel extremely happy that the movie's finally over!
beingAnnee: Watched heroine today ..kareena acted sooo welll loved her <3 ...but the movie was not tht good.. expected alot from the movie :S
atanu4ever: #Heroine: an unrealistic movie directed by a so called realistic director. Genius of Kareena wasn't enough for the rescue.
aravindsati: #Heroine is 1 of d most borin movies ive seen in recent tyms,felt lyk wchin a mix of dirty pic n fashion wid absolutly no plot or storyline!
amlansinha2011: watched heroine, so bogus movie
agarmettea: Heroine is monotonous, characters-shallow & caricatures. Its outright ridiculous movie & a fine piece of garbage.
AbhishekJSoni: Yesterday i cudnt tweet as i was in a shock state as i saw #heroine, even got bad dreams. Today I'm back
AanamC: I didn't know a movie with so many beautiful clothes by @ManishMalhotra1 could go so wrong! #Heroine
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
The ups and downs in the life of an actress, Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor) from the Hindi film industry and the struggle she has to go through to remain in the game.